Review: Fauna by David Benton

Fauna by David Benton
CreateSpace (January 2018)
292 pages; $12.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Dave Simms

Nature fights back. It’s a familiar theme that has been around forever. To make it special takes some tinkering and imagination, not to mention strong storytelling. David Benton brings something to the table that keeps the teeth gnashing and adrenaline pumping until the final page. He combines the visceral brutality of an Ed Lee or Richard Laymon with the globe-trotting skills of James Rollins, resulting in an exciting romp that evokes The Zoo by James Patterson, but with a message.

A shaman in the Amazon warns photojournalist Michael Keller that a big change is coming in nature. Little does he know that it would be a concerted, global effect, an attack on mankind everywhere. Dr. Andrea “Andy” Keller works in a lab back in Milwaukee, struggling to find an answer for the sudden aggression in both wild and domestic animals. Officer Devon Coleman just wants to keep his family safe in the city, a tough task as the family dog fights off the change.

Benton strings together a bevy of scenes that display both the savagery and grace of the animal kingdom while hinting that maybe the world might be a better place without people. That’s not exactly a bad idea.

As the story unfolds and the blood splatters, he brings the stories together through a rapid-fire pace that doesn’t slow down to explain the catastrophe occurring across the globe — but it doesn’t need to. By the time the final page is closed and the reader takes a breath, the point has been made and this roller-coaster of a novel ends with a message that makes all too much sense to the humans who will listen.

Recommended for fans of old-fashioned fast paced horror.

Leave a Reply